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Impressive Martin leaves Tigers in his dust

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Dustin Martin breaks away from Corey Ellis in the Tigers' intra-club practice match - ${keywords}
Dustin Martin breaks away from Corey Ellis in the Tigers' intra-club practice match

RICHMOND star Dustin Martin has put his controversial summer behind him with a standout performance in the Tigers' final intra-club match before the NAB Challenge.

Martin was at his powerful best in the internal match, playing four of the six 15-minute periods as a half-forward before appearing to get a knock to the head and leaving the game as a precaution.

He took impressive marks on the lead, broke tackles and produced a trademark fend-off as a tune-up for the up coming pre-season matches.

In a sometimes scrappy and often feisty affair, his ball-use going inside 50 stood out before sitting out the final two periods in no apparent discomfort.

There was a lot of fire in the Tigers' main intra-club match, with Jack Riewoldt and Kamdyn McIntosh finding themselves in a scrap, as well as bulked up Liam McBean and Anthony Miles.

Richmond will use the match to select their first NAB Challenge squad to travel to Mandurah to face Fremantle next Friday night.

The leading draftee pushing to step into that squad is Nathan Broad, who stood out in the backline, taking strong marks and combining well with David Astbury and Nick Vlastuin to rebound.

The 22-year-old WAFL product has impressed the Tigers all pre-season and could challenge for a round-one berth in a backline that is starting to appear deep.

Highlighting that depth, regular key defender Troy Chaplin was used forward for the duration of Friday's match in a sign that he could be set for a new role.

Other defenders to impress were Reece Conca across half-back and club champion Alex Rance, whose status as the leader of the backline was obvious with his booming instructions to teammates.

Alex Rance puts his trademark pressure on teammate Ben Griffiths.  Picture: AFL Media

With Shaun Hampson running laps, Ivan Soldo carried the ruck against his cousin Ivan Maric and did well with a fitter and stronger body.

Coach Damien Hardwick was keen to throw his players around, moving draftee Daniel Rioli on ball late in the match, and switching Kane Lambert and Miles through half-forward roles.

Vice-captain Brett Deledio, whose pre-season has been managed to avoid calf troubles, completed his own running session, while recruit Chris Yarran was absent as he recovers from a niggling calf problem.

Other draftees to push their claims for NAB Challenge selection were versatile forward Oleg Markov and rookies Mabior Chol, Callum Moore and Adam Marcon.  

Kamdyn McIntosh feels some heat from his captain Trent Cotchin. Picture: AFL Media

Rookie Mabior Chol stretches high at the Tigers' intraclub match on Friday. Picture: AFL Media

New Tiger Nathan Broad stakes his claims against Jack Riewoldt. Picture: AFL Media